Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler at the 'Dune: Part Two' panel during CCXP 2023

CCXP Panel With the Stars of ‘Dune: Part Two’

Director teases a more "complex" and "muscular" second movie, amping up the levels of action and emotion.

In addition to watching the first 10 minutes of Dune: Part Two, ecstatic crowds at CCXP 2023 got to see both the movie’s director, Denis Villeneuve, and its stars, in the flesh: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler were present. For latter two actors—newcomers to the saga—it was their first event appearance to promote Dune.

While only a portion of the panel was livestreamed (see end of article linked to above), Collider was covering the convention and have since posted their recording of the interview—this segment followed immediately after an opening sizzle reel. Villeneuve talks about his vision for Dune: Part Two, while the cast members discuss their characters and experiences from the movie’s production.

Watch the video (17 minutes) or read a full transcript below that. Note that this doesn’t include movie footage that was shown at the event. That remains exclusive to those in the room, for the moment…

Transcript of Dune: Part Two Interview

Denis Villeneuve: It’s amazing for us to be here today. Thank you for having so much.

Question from host: Denis we are so excited to have you here and I know that everyone here can’t wait one more minute to hear you talk about the film. So for starters, I wanted to ask you if you could give us a little taste of what to expect in this new part of Dune.

DV: Thank you, I’m very excited to be with you and to be welcoming you all back to Arrakis. As you just heard, when Zendaya said, I find great joy and great passion living in this world, Frank Herbert created. While this is a continuation of the story we told in Part One, this film is a visceral experience that doesn’t require audiences to have seen the first film to enjoy Part Two. Saying this, it’s a better idea to have seen Part One. But you don’t have to.

We are on an epic journey with Paul and Chani in a completely new story of star-crossed love, revenge, ambition, deceit set against the backdrop of the massive war. Once again, I designed, I devised this film entirely for the big-screen experience. When I set out the make Dune, my purpose was singular, to make a film that demands to be seen in theaters.

The communal movie-going experience on the biggest canvas possible. With the most immersive sound so that we can immerse ourselves at the maximum in the story. I’m very excited to be here with you, the fans. Who made Part One a success, thank you guys. And this is because of you that we are here today. Thank you.

Q: So, Denis, can you tell us who is back in Duna? That’s how we say it, Duna: Parte Dois, and who is new to the cast.

DV: Yes, Duna: Parte Dois, yes. Yes, you just got a glimpse of some of the new and returning cast in the opening reel. But let me tell you and show you.

So, there’s a Paul Atreides, of course, and Chani. Our heroes who are played by Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya. Who are at the epicentre of everything in this film. The whole story truly orbits around their gravitational pull.

Rebecca Ferguson returns at the ever powerful Lady Jessica, Paul’s mother. There’s Stellan Skarsgård. Who is back as an evil Baron Harkonnen with his nephew, Dave Bautista, Raban Harkonnen. Javier Bardem is back as the Fremen leader Stilgar. And of course, Josh Brolin returns at the loyal Atreides fighter, Gurney Halleck.

And as for the new member of the cast, Léa Seydoux is the mysterious Bene Gesserit Lady Margot Fenring. There’s Florence Pugh is Princess Irulan, the Emperor’s daughter and brilliant strategist.

And Austin Butler. Austin plays Feyd-Rautha, the galaxy, most psychotic, but fearless and ruthless fighter.A worthy enemy for Paul. And of course, the incomparable Christopher Walken as our Emperor Shaddam.

Q: Let’s talk a little bit about the movie. So these people can learn some things that you have prepared for us. We opened this sequence with a fantastic behind the scenes sizzle reel. Seeing you all on set. So let’s start there. What was [it like] working on this Chapter Two for you all?

Zendaya: I’m so grateful, I think, and I think… I’m a little bit lost for words, so a beautiful warm welcome. And I’m so grateful to be on this space with all of you, so thank you for having us. But, dream director, beautiful cast, very lucky to be able to be a part of it. You know, I really feel like we’re all… this is a true ensemble, so I’m lucky to be a small piece of something so massive.

Q: And now, Florence and Austin, you are a new to the cast. You’re just coming in. So can you tell us a little bit about the characters and how they fit into the tapestry of the story.

Austin Butler: This is amazing. I play Feyd-Rautha, who is very, very twisted, I’ll say that. I had the blast of my life getting to work with Denis on this, and with Timothée and Zendaya and Florence and the entire incredible cast. It’s honestly a dream come true, I just had the time of my life.

Florence Pugh: I play Princess Irulan, who is the Emperor’s daughter, played by the great Christopher Walken. She’s quick, wise, intelligent, quiet. I had an amazing time coming in, just hanging around with these people let alone actually getting to work with them. Coming in here, the power of this room is because of the first movie. We felt that when we went on set every single day. So it feels really, really special being here with the second one. I’m very, very proud.

Q: And our question to you Zendaya, Part One gave us an introduction to Chani. So what will we see of her in Part Two?

Z: A lot more. But as I said before, it was so special to come back and do this again and actually be there for a bit longer, before I was literally there for a week. So now I got to actually experience it and be a part of this movie in a bigger way. It’s a full of gratitude for the experience and being able to be here. So yeah, a lot more. She’s got a story.

Q: Awesome. And Timothée, in Part One, Paul has learned a lot of new things. How does his role evolve in Part Two?

TC: Well Paul is no longer the young man we see in Part One year. This is the evolution of Paul Atreides. We fully see him become the Muad’Dib that was described in Part One, played beautifully by Oscar Isaac.

Q: And now I have to ask all of you, the stunts look like they’ll be even wilder this time around. So for Timothée and Austin, what was it like creating that intense fight scene we’ve seen in the trailer?

AB: We had so much fun doing that. We had a lot of time separately where we were both training. And the moment that we finally got to come together and start working on that and figuring out who these two men are. And their individual styles, I just have a blast with you man.

TC: Same here.

Q: That’s fun. Awesome. And Zendaya, do you have a favorite Chani action scene in Part Two?

Z: I do, but I believe that would be a spoiler, so I’m not going to say anything about that. You just have to see it when you see it.

Q: Does it involve a lot of sand?

Z: Yes, yes.

Q: Florence. So Princess Irulan is not a physical fighter. That doesn’t mean she isn’t fighting somehow in her own way. So can you tell us a little bit more about her tactics?

FP: Yes, she may not be fighting like those two, three. However, she’s watched power and she’s watched intelligence. So I think she’s learned how to fight in her own way. And that was the exciting thing about her, playing her. I don’t know, maybe we’ll see what happens, if she whips out a knife or something.

Q: So, Denis, this scope and scale of the first film was incredible. How have you built on that world of Dune?

DV: The thing is that I used to say when I did Part One that it was the appetizer. And that Part Two will be the main course. It’s a movie that is much more action. It’s much more emotional, complex, muscular movie. And then with most of all, and with a love story in the middle. I can’t wait to share to movie with you guys.